Local businesses pitch in to help Derry nonprofitBy APRIL GUILMET
Union Leader Correspondent
December 29. 2013 6:25PM
DERRY — The Upper Room, a Derry nonprofit, is counting its holiday blessings after several area businesses banded together to provide some much-needed interior upgrades.
Earlier this month, workers from nora systems Inc., Merrimack Tile and Northeast Flooring completed several projects inside the facility's multipurpose room.
Located at 36 Tsienetto Road, the Upper Room assists needy families from around southern New Hampshire and offers a variety of programs, including GED-preparedness classes, parenting resources and programs for challenged youth.
"It is our priority at the Upper Room to be sure that every person that walks through our door receives the respect and dignity they deserve just for being human," said Brenda Guggisberg, GED program coordinator at the Upper Room. "No matter what they come here for, we want people to know that they are valued and worth the effort."
Guggisberg said the room is used on a daily basis by clients, visitors and community members stopping by to drop off donations, making it all the more important for the space to be well-maintained.
Over the past several weeks, volunteer work crews painted walls, made minor repairs and installed brand-new flooring.
Thanks to the combined efforts of area businesses, Upper Room officials said their multipurpose room is now a much more welcoming space for the dozens of incoming families and children that stop by each day.
The newly renovated room was completed late last week, according to Ginny McReady, spokeswoman for nora systems.
McReady said the Salem-based floor-covering manufacturer learned about the needs of the struggling Derry nonprofit while researching projects for its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. According to McReady, nora systems has been giving back to area organizations in need for the past four years.
About 30 nora employees assisted in various projects at the Upper Room over the past year, including outdoor landscaping and yard maintenance, repainting an outdoor sign and collecting food and warm clothing to distribute to needy clients in time for the holidays.
Using donated flooring, paint, wall and window accessories, employees from the two other Granite State companies also lent a hand in the room renovation efforts.
"When we moved our headquarters to Salem, we were fortunate to have found The Upper Room," said Heidi Anderson, nora's human resource manager. "It's an amazing organization with a mission that really resonates with us. We knew that one of their biggest challenges lies in maintaining and improving their building, and this is where we saw an opportunity for nora to help."